Ocean County Cop Crashes into Pedestrian on Road in Lakewood, NJ
The auto accident happened around 1:25 p.m. on New Hampshire Avenue in Lakewood, NJ. The Ocean County officer was driving his patrol vehicle, a 2007 Ford passenger car, on the road when he hit the victim.
The pedestrian was walking along the northbound shoulder of the roadway. It is unclear at this time whether the pedestrian had moved too far away from the side of the road or if there may have been an alternative walking route that was safer.
At the time of the car crash, the Ocean County sheriff’s officer was in the process of responding to a non-emergency call.
The victim, a 17-year-old girl from Lakewood NJ, sustained serious injuries as a result of the pedestrian accident. She was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune to receive medical treatment for her accident-related injuries. The sheriff’s officer was taken to Ocean Medical Center in Brick NJ for evaluation.
Meanwhile, authorities shut down a portion of New Hampshire Avenue while NJ State Police and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office investigated the car accident. Depending on the findings of investigators, it is possible that the Ocean County officer could be cited for moving violations and potentially criminal charges as well in connection with the crash.
Suing for Damages under the NJ Torts Claim Act
Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, it is possible that the injured pedestrian may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against both the patrol officer and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office under an agency theory of law which would apply in this case. Under the theory of agency, an employer can be held legally responsible for the actions of a worker who negligently injures a third party while acting in the course of their employment. However, because the claim would be against a public entity and/or their employee, it is essential to file a timely “notice of claim” against both the Sheriff’s office and the officer.
A New Jersey law, known as the N.J. Torts Claim Act, strictly conditions the right to sue the Sheriff’s Office and/or the officer by requiring victims to file a formal notice to sue within 90 days of the accident. Minors, such as the victim in this case, are given 90 days following their 18th birthday to file the notice of claim but must otherwise meet all requirements of the N.J. Torts Claim Act. The Tort Claims Act also creates other obstacles to recovery by imposing additional conditions not encountered in customary personal injury lawsuits. Therefore, prompt legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney is strongly recommended.
For more information about this accident, view the Asbury Park Press article, “Ocean County Officer’s Car Hit Pedestrian.”
If you were injured in an auto accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. New Jersey personal injury victims have been relying upon the expertise of lawyers at Drazin and Warshaw, P.C. for more than 70 years. We have vast experience helping victims in these types of cases. Contact us anytime to schedule a free consultation.